\ ˈlām How to pronounce lame (audio) \
lamer; lamest

Definition of lame

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : having a body part and especially a limb so disabled as to impair freedom of movement The accident left him lame for life.
b : marked by stiffness and soreness a lame shoulder
2 : lacking needful or desirable substance : weak, ineffectual a lame excuse
3 slang : not being in the know : square She's cool, but her boyfriend is so lame.
4a : inferior a lame school
b : contemptible, nasty lame racist jokes

lame

verb
lamed; laming

Definition of lame (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to make lame : cripple
2 : to make weak or ineffective : disable

Definition of lame (Entry 3 of 5)

slang
: a person who is not in the know : square
\ ˈlām How to pronounce lame (audio) , ˈlam How to pronounce lame (audio) \

Definition of lame (Entry 4 of 5)

1 : a thin plate especially of metal : lamina
2 lames plural : small overlapping steel plates joined to slide on one another (as in medieval armor)

lamé

noun (3)
la·​mé | \ lä-ˈmā How to pronounce lamé (audio) , la-\

Definition of lamé (Entry 5 of 5)

: a brocaded clothing fabric made from any of various fibers combined with tinsel filling threads

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lame

Adjective

lamely adverb
lameness noun

Examples of lame in a Sentence

Adjective The horse had gone lame, and it grew lamer. The accident left him lame for life. He offered a lame apology for his actions. She's nice, but her boyfriend is really lame. Verb we were afraid that the horse would be lamed by its horrible fall
See More

First Known Use of lame

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1959, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

1922, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lame

Adjective, Verb, and Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English lama; akin to Old High German lam lame, Lithuanian limti to break down

Noun (2)

Middle French, from Latin lamina

Noun (3)

French

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lame

Time Traveler for lame

Time Traveler

The first known use of lame was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lame

Cite this Entry

“Lame.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/laming. Accessed 22 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lame

How to pronounce lamé (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having an injured leg or foot that makes walking difficult or painful
informal : not strong, good, or effective
US, informal : not smart or impressive

lamé

noun
How to pronounce lamé (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lamé (Entry 2 of 2)

: shiny cloth that contains silver or gold threads
\ ˈlām How to pronounce lame (audio) \
lamer; lamest

Kids Definition of lame

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not able to get around without pain or difficulty a lame horse
2 : injured or sore so that walking or movement is painful or difficult a lame leg
3 : not very convincing or effective a lame excuse

Other Words from lame

lamely adverb
lameness noun

lame

verb
lamed; laming

Kids Definition of lame (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make or become unable to get around without pain and difficulty lamed in a fall
\ ˈlām How to pronounce lame (audio) \
lamer; lamest

Medical Definition of lame

: having a body part and especially a limb so disabled as to impair freedom of movement : physically disabled

Other Words from lame

lamely adverb
lameness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lame

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lame

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lame

Spanish Central: Translation of lame

Nglish: Translation of lame for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lame for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lame

What made you want to look up lame? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not agreeing with established beliefs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!